'Joker' Won't Be Screened at Aurora Theater Over Concerns From Batman Shooting Victims' Families
Warner Bros. Pictures

Warner Bros. comes out with the decision upon learning about the open letter from the families who voiced their worry that the villain is presented in the film as a protagonist with a sympathetic origin story.

AceShowbiz - Warner Bros. bosses have opted not to show Joaquin Phoenix's new movie, "Joker", at the Cinemark Aurora theatre in Colorado, where 12 people were killed during a "The Dark Knight Rises" screening in 2012.

The studio executives made the decision after speaking with Cinemark chiefs, who previously owned the cinema, now known as the Century Aurora, where a deranged gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of the Batman film.

Phoenix portrays the Caped Crusader's nemesis in the dark new Todd Phillips film, which opens next month.

The Warner Bros. decision comes following the publication of an open letter from the families of four Aurora shooting victims to studio CEO and chairperson Ann Sarnoff in the Hollywood trade papers, in which they expressed their concern about the release of Joker.

Those representing victims Jessica Ghawi, Alexander J. Boik, Ashley Mose and Tina Coon revealed they were saddened "when we learned that Warner Bros. was releasing a movie called Joker that presents the character as a protagonist with a sympathetic origin story."

In the film, Phoenix's disturbed character kicks off a cycle of violence after getting hold of a gun.

"We're calling on you to use your massive platform and influence to join us in our fight to build safer communities with fewer guns," the open letter to Warner Bros. reads.

The Aurora family members also asked studio bosses to "end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA (National Rifle Association) and vote against gun reform."

"These lawmakers are literally putting your customers and employees in danger," the letter continues. "Use your political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform. Keeping everyone safe should be a top corporate priority for Warner Brothers. Help fund survivor funds and gun violence intervention programs to help survivors of gun violence and to reduce every-day gun violence in the communities you serve."

Following the "Dark Knight Rises" mass shooting in 2012, Warner Bros. bosses donated $2 million (£1.6 million) to the victims' families.

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